Do you need to ship your motorcycle because you’re relocating? Then, you’re probably looking for the fastest way to make this happen. One Google search can unveil all the different options motorcycle owners have to transport their bike, but the million-dollar question is: which one’s the faster option?
Let’s discuss this.
The Different Ways to Ship a Motorcycle
The most obvious first option you have is to simply ride your bike to your destination, which is definitely something a lot of bike owners think about. However, there are some logistical aspects to consider first:
- The cost of gas;
- The route, which may not be ideal for a motorcycle journey;
- The likelihood of needing to take a lot more things than just a motorcycle;
- The distance, which may force you to take a few breaks along the way.
So if you only need to transport your motorcycle to a nearby city and don’t have to carry anything else with you, then riding it is the way to go.
But if that’s not really the case, another option is to rent a truck where you can fit your motorcycle, and possibly fit some other belongings as well if needed. For that, you’d also need to consider the distance, possible breaks, and add to that protective equipment to keep the bike in place.
By far, the fastest, and often the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle is hiring a company that can handle all your shipping needs for you. These shipments also have the perks of being completely hassle-free to you, as the company will take care of the kinks of transport, and get the motorcycle to you in just 1-2 days, sometimes even in the same day!
Let’s look closer at what shipping a motorcycle entails, and how that affects your shipping timeline.
Where You’re Going Will Likely Determine Arrival Date
It’s a lot easier to ship a motorcycle than even a regular vehicle. It’s small, which means it can easily fit into almost any truck, so there’s a strong chance you may not have to wait a long time until a company ships your motorcycle or even pay more for a bigger truck.
In general, there are three likely types of shipping when it comes to bikes:
1. Daily Direct
Daily direct motorcycle transport refers to same-day shipping, which is rather common for motorcycles since their size makes it a lot easier for companies to fit them together with other cargo or in smaller trucks. However, daily direct shipping isn’t always available, and that greatly depends on the distance the bike has to travel.
Simply put, you can’t expect to get your motorcycle the same day if you need to ship it from California to New York. But when it comes to shipping in the same state or shorter distances, this option may be available.
It’s also important to consider the company you choose, and how they schedule their deliveries. Daily direct may not actually be "daily direct" if the company has a rule of shipping only a few specific days of the week (which sometimes happens with smaller companies with limited trucks). So in this case, daily direct usually refers to the fact that your bike will arrive the same day it was shipped, not necessarily the same day you dropped it off or when the company picked it.
2. National Shipping
Standard shipping means it will usually take 2-3 days, possibly more for the bike to reach its destination. On the one hand, a longer distance obviously means it just physically takes longer for the bike to travel said distance, but you also need to take into account one other thing.
We're talking about the driver safety regulations. The truck driver will not be driving 24/7 to get the cargo to where it needs to be. By law, they can only drive:
- Up to 11 hours continuously if they’ve had 10 consecutive hours off duty;
- Plus, they must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
And this doesn’t account for the time spent in traffic. So, if the driver encountered a lot of congestion and remained in place, they would still need to follow these rules, which unfortunately may affect shipping.
3. International Shipping
This type of shipping takes the longest, as you’re not only dealing with the fact that the distances are much greater, but also need to factor in:
- The possible need to change different means of transport (such as truck, ship, etc.);
- The country you’re shipping to, as some may have more rigorous border checks than others.
International motorcycle shipping can take a few weeks or more, especially if you don’t have the necessary documentation available, such as proof of ownership, and proof of insurance.
Why You Should Value Safety Over Speed
It would be great if there was a way to instantly teleport your motorcycle or car from point A to point B, but as of writing this article, humankind still hasn’t figured out this technology.
Shipping with a professional company is a lot faster than simply driving the vehicle yourself, especially for longer distances, but there is also one key aspect to consider:
For the most part, it’s safer, or at least your bike is protected. Shipping with a reputable company also means your motorcycle (or any vehicle, for that matter) will be properly secured onto the truck, usually in a special crate meant to keep in place during transit.
Additionally, when you ship your motorcycle with a good company your shipment will also be insured, so that in the event that something goes wrong, you can recover damages and pay for the repairs.
In the end, your motorcycle shipping may take a little more time than anticipated, but a good shipping company will discuss with you about shipping times, and if any potential delays can appear. And when you have all the information on hand, you can make the necessary accommodations so that the shipping times don’t end up affecting you too much.
Let A1 Auto Transport Help Ship Your Bike Hassle-Free
If you need to ship your motorcycle nationally, overseas, or even just in a nearby city, the professional team at A-1 Auto Transport is here to ensure the job gets done right.
We strive for timely deliveries while also making sure all our cargo is properly secured with the best equipment available. While our experience makes us well ahead of the competition, we also know you can never fully prevent risks, which is why your bike will also be fully insured, for extra protection.
So if you’re looking for a trustworthy team that can exceed expectations, you’ve come to the right place. Use our Auto Shipping Cost Calculator for a quick estimate on your shipping, and then reach out to one of our team members for more information.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.